Christine O’Donnell: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... You Can Go Places

Stasia Lopez's picture

Christine O’Donnell recently obtained her Associate Degree in General Studies at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). She will graduate in August with her Associates in Accounting. Christine plans on transferring to a four-year university to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She got accepted to Penn State University and she’s waiting to hear back from the University of Pittsburgh. Christine currently works full time and she’s married with four children, eight years old and younger. 

Christine O’Donnell: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... You Can Go Places

How did you choose your major in college? How did you choose CCAC? Did you have a mentor or person who helped guide you through that process? 
I was a Medical Assistant for 13 years. I decided I wanted out of the clinical side of the medical field. I've always like math and thought accounting would be a fun career to pursue! I went to CCAC-South for medical assisting and liked the atmosphere there. I knew CCAC would be my first choice in pursuing my accounting education.

What student activities were you involved in, while attending college? Were you involved with any activities or work experience outside of school? Any advice for current students about getting involved to gain relevant skills and experience? 
I did an internship while going for my certificate in medical assisting. I recommend going for an internship; that way, you can get your foot in the door at that company and hopefully you will get hired, like I did! I am not going for an internship for accounting just yet, as the company I work for is paying for my school.

Christine O’Donnell: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... You Can Go Places

What skills did you gain from being involved and/or working? 
I am currently working performing insurance billing/collections. The things I've learned so far is helping with my current job!

What special memories, if any, can you share from your time at CCAC? 
The guidance counselors are always there and always willing to help you succeed! 

Anything else you'd like to share for your spotlight article?
I know if I can go back to school with working full time and raising four small children, you can do it too!! Let go of your fears and register for at least one class!! My motto has been, one class at a time. 

Christine O’Donnell: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... You Can Go Places

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Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is Director of Student Life and Engagement at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), as well as an Instructor for a class on "The Job Search" at CCAC. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.